If Timo Werner bet on being showered with praise by Thomas Tuchel for a rare performance, he was threatened with a rude awakening.
Instead, he’s flown to Madrid with a challenge from the boss – to show he can transform into a world-class frontman at Chelsea.
Because it’s one thing to score goals against a shocking Southampton side.
It’s quite another to do it at the Bernabeu in the heat of a Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid when you have to come back from a 3-1 deficit.
The 26-year-old German scored twice as Blues smashed the woeful Saints for six, and he also hit the woodwork 3 TIMES.
Werner’s last Prem goals came against Southampton in October.
And while it’s too early to say he’s turned the corner, that performance will have boosted his confidence immensely ahead of tomorrow’s showdown with Real.
Boss Tuchel was happy that Werner responded with the injured Romelu Lukaku.
But the blues boss then added some realism – reminding his German compatriots that expectations are high and only ER can push himself to the highest level.
When asked if he ever spoke to Werner to cheer him up, Tuchel replied: “Yes, but it would have been a long conversation from October to April.
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“At some point there are no more words, you have to help yourself. You sign for Chelsea, you sign for a top club, you have to live up to that and accept the pressure that comes with that. And you have to help yourself too.
“It means when you come onto the pitch you have to be ready when the opportunity presents itself – and he has done that.
“His attitude has always been good. But he still has to adapt because he used to play regularly and played for teams that were built for him.
“He used to play for a transition team and sometimes we have a lot of possession.
“Werner has to adapt to the physicality of the league. It’s still a process, but it was a step in the right direction.”
After Werner Fraser twice derailed Forster’s Southampton goal, Chelsea opened the scoring after eight minutes through Marcos Alonso.
It was 4-0 by half-time thanks to a clean goal from Mason Mount, a commanding run from Werner and a close-range shot from Kai Havertz.
Chelsea fans loved it, chanting “Ole, Ole, Ole” in the latter stages of the first half as their side slammed the ball around at will.
You sign for Chelsea, you sign for a top club, you have to live up to that and accept the pressure that comes with that.
Thomas Tuchel about Timo Werner
Less than ten minutes into the second half, Werner and Mount both helped themselves to two braces and Southampton must have feared being at the bottom of another nine-goal smash.
So many players in the yellow jersey were outstanding – Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s attacking intent, Mount’s vision, N’Golo Kante’s energy and Mateo Kovacic’s energy – and it was the best way to react to damaging defeats for Brentford and Real .
Now they travel to Madrid hoping not to lose sight of the Champions League trophy they won against all odds last season.
Alonso refused to divulge what was said in Thursday’s hands-free conversations with Tuchel at the training ground.
But the Spaniard accepted: “We were all pissed off after the last Madrid game.
“We don’t like to lose. We had two defeats in a row. So we were hungry to win that, to put in a solid performance and so we have to keep working for Tuesday’s game.
“Now of course it’s a different competition, a different approach and we have to work very hard to have a chance.
“There is much to do. We have to be humble, we have to work hard and perform well. I think we’re capable of winning there.
“Of course it’s very complicated after the first 90 minutes – but there are still another 90 minutes to play. We have to tackle it.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5096084/tuchel-slow-learner-timo-werner-chelsea-refuses-praise/ Tuchel quizzes SLOW LEARNER Timo Werner as Chelsea boss refuses to praise striker after finally scoring against Southampton